Bookselling in Somalia, Cursive’s Comeback, and More


Every day Poets & Writers Magazine scans the headlines—from publishing reports to academic announcements to literary dispatches—for all the news that creative writers need to know. Here are today’s stories:

The Fader hosts a conversation between writers Yaa Gyasi and Hua Hsu, in which they discuss the historical roots and influences behind their respective debuts: Gyasi’s novel, Homegoing, and Hsu’s nonfiction book, A Floating Chinaman.  

Essayist and fiction writer James Alan McPherson died yesterday at age seventy-two. In 1978, McPherson became the first African American to win the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for his story collection Elbow Room. McPherson was also the recipient of a Guggenheim fellowship and a MacArthur “Genius” grant. At the time of his death, McPherson was professor emeritus at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. (New York Times)

Is cursive making a comeback? The debate on whether or not schools should include cursive as part of the curriculum continues. (Washington Post)

Quartz features a report on Somalia’s international book fairs and the hopeful future of bookselling in the country.

An art exhibit inspired by Sandra Cisneros’s 1984 novel The House of Mango Street is currently on display at the National Hispanic Cultural Center in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Organized by the National Museum of Mexican Art, “The House on Mango Street: Artists Interpret Community” features works inspired by the book, which tells the story of a Mexican American girl growing up in Chicago. (News West)

“Have we reached the boiling point yet? The case of Ashraf Fayadh is just one of many around the world, but it is one around which the whole world should rally.” Novelist Paul M. M. Cooper reflects on the case of Ashraf Fayadh, the Saudi poet sentenced to death last November on accusations of blasphemy. Fayadh’s sentence was later reduced to eight years in prison and eight hundred lashes. (Dissident Voice)

At the Atlantic, an interview with an Indiana University research librarian provides a snapshot of the evolving role of librarians in today’s rapidly changing digital climate.